Research is looking beyond CBD and focusing on other non-psychoactive compounds in the hemp plant such as minor cannabinoids, CBC, CBG, and CBN.
CBC, CBG, and CBN are all being isolated and purified by formulators so they can reintroduce them into new product formulations, with or without CBD.
CBC can reduce edema (swelling) as well as inflammation of the intestinal tract. CBC appears to fight inflammation without activating cannabinoid receptors, and produces a stronger effect when combined with other cannabinoids. As a analgesic it reduces pain, but is not as strong as THC.
CBG is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid typically most abundant in low-THC and high-CBD cannabis strains, including hemp. Like THC, CBG reacts with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, and it works to fight inflammation, pain, nausea and can slow the proliferation of cancer cells.
CBN works as an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, pain relief, anti-insomnia and anti-convulsive agent. It can also increase appetite like THC, without psychotropic effects. This cannabinol also seems to exert healthy synergistic effects with THC, CBD and other cannabinoids.
Farmers, too, are banking on a rise in interest in CBD oil alternatives. One example: a network of hemp growers just closed a $23 million funding round earlier this year, and is planning to double its acreage in 2020 with a focus on high-CBG hemp strains.
Before you buy into products that promote their high minor cannabinoid content, however, know there are a few caveats. For one thing, hemp research is still in its infancy, and there isn’t yet a substantial body of evidence surrounding any of its individual cannabinoids. It’s true that the minor cannabinoids have shown some interesting and promising effects in animal studies, everything from anti-cancer to anti-inflammatory effects. So clearly, this is an area scientists are very curious about.
We know next to nothing about what these minor cannabinoids actually do in humans, and the research is going to take years. So in the meantime, consumers really need to do their research, and speak with their Naturopathic Doctor to make the best decision for them. The hemp products industry is still unregulated, which makes it even more important to examine any breathless buzz with a critical eye.